Phone: 717-304-1841   Email: cutaialaw@gmail.com

What is a 341 Meeting of the Creditors?

The "341" is the only court hearing most people who file bankruptcy ever have to attend. The numbers "341" reference the section of the bankruptcy code that talks about this hearing. The 341 hearing isn't in front of a judge, but a trustee.  The trustee is an attorney who has been appointed by the bankruptcy court to review your petition and ask you to confirm that everything is true in your petition, under oath.  The judge isn't there, and this isn't a determination about whether you are "approved" for bankruptcy or anything like that.

 

Do my creditors come to the Court hearing known as the 341 Meeting of the Creditors?

Almost never. Sometimes a small creditor might show up because he or she does not know any better). The creditor will be allowed to ask a very limited number of questions, but usually the Trustee is not going to allow more than a few. You do have to answer the questions truthfully to the best of your knowledge, information or belief. Please note that it is extremely rare for creditors to show up at a 341.

 

Where is my 341 Meeting of the Creditors and how do I get there?

You will have to provide your own transportation to the 341 Meeting of the Creditors.

Chapter 7:

Starting November 17, 2015, all Chapter 7 341 hearings will be at the York County Judicial Center, 45 North George Street, York PA  17401.  Normally the hearings are held on the 5th Floor, in the Multipurpose room.

NOTE:  You absolutely, positively CANNOT bring your cell phone into the building and the sheriff will NOT hold it for you.  I am sorry about this rule.  Lawyers are allowed to bring cell phones in, so I will have mine so you can text me if you are running late etc.

There is a bail bondsman on the corner of George and Philadelphia, and they hold cell phones for $2.00. 

You must go through a metal detector.

The meeting will most likely be on the 5th floor, but consult the notice you got from the bankruptcy court if you are not sure or text me.

There is a parking garage on Market Street and on Philadelophia Street, as well as metered parking. (15 minutes per quarter). You should pay for at least one hour, but sometimes the trustee is running late so an hour aned a half would be better.  The garage will cost you about $5.00 for two hours.

Chapter 13:

The Federal Courthouse is located here:

Ronald Reagan Federal Building  (directions)
228 Walnut Street Rm 320
Harrisburg, PA 17108

(NOTE: Do NOT put the address in your GPS as it may not give you the correct directions; clients have told us that their GPS directs them to Scranton). You MUST have photo ID to enter the Federal Courthouse (and since you need it for your 341 this should not be a problem).

Your attorney will be seated directly across from you at the conference table. There are two parking garages close to the Courthouse as well as metered parking, (FIVE minutes per quarter). You should pay for at least 1.5 hours.

 

What should I bring to my 341?

PHOTO ID: You absolutely MUST bring a government issued photo identification (passport, driver's license or State ID). It is not necessary that your address be the same, but a change of address card would be helpful. You can change your address with Penn DOT online by going here: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/faq/faq-dl_learn_permit.shtml#Q10

To replace your driver's license if you lost it, go here: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/replacementcenter/replacinglicense.shtml

PROOF OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER: You absolutely must bring proof of your social security number.  Note that only your social security card, W-2/1099 OR a tax transcript OR correspondence from the IRS OR a Medicare or Medicaid card, that contains your social security number is sufficient. You can order a tax transcript from the IRS for free by going here: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=232168,00.htmlor calling 1-800-908-9946.

Note that it takes several weeks to get your tax transcript so you should order it in enough time to get it by your 341. We cannot order the tax transcript for you; you must initiate the request with the IRS.

The tax return that you or your accountant prepared is NOT sufficient proof of your social security number and will NOT be accepted.

 

Do I have to go to my 341 Meeting of the Creditors and what if I can't make it?

YES, you MUST go to your 341. If you fail to appear to your 341, the court will reschedule it. Sometimes we need to reschedule it because of scheduling conflicts; we will let you know as soon as possible if that happens. However, absent exceptional circumstances, you must appear for the rescheduled 341 or your case will be dismissed. It will cost you about $500 to reopen your case, and there is no guarantee that we will be successful in having it reopened. If you filed with your spouse, you both must attend. If this is going to be a problem, please let us know.

If you cannot make your 341 and know that in advance, please let us know, so we can let the trustee know.

 

When will my 341 be scheduled?

Chapter 7 341s are always on Wednesday afternoon (as early as 1 and as late as 4), and Chapter 13 341s are always on Thursday mornings (as early as 9 and as late as noon). You will get notice of the 341 in the mail about 1 week after your petition is filed. However, the actual meeting will be scheduled for about five weeks after that.

 

Do I have to do anything AFTER my 341?  Don't forget your counseling class!

Yes.  If you have not done so already, you must take your second counseling class. If you have not already done so, please go here to take it and make sure we get a copy of your certificate. If you missed your first 341, you need to take the counseling class BEFORE the rescheduled 341.  Find out where to take the second counseling class by going here. You should take the second class immediately if you did not take it before your 341. 

 

How long with the 341 last?

Your actual 341 will last about 10 minutes. However, you have to wait for your case to be called and sometimes the trustee is running late. There are about 10 cases scheduled every half hour for Chapter 7 cases and every hour for Chapter 13 cases. As such, if your notice tells you to appear at 9 am you should be there at 9 am but give yourself an hour on your meter at a minimum. If you are running a few minutes late, don't panic. The trustee will just go on to the next case and call you at the end of the 1/2 hour or hour, depending on if you are a 7 or 13.

 

What do I need to do BEFORE my 341?

Be sure to read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet that was emailed to you with your original paperwork.  The trustee will ask you if you read the bankruptcy information sheet, and you must be able to answer "yes" truthfully.

 

What will the Trustee ask me? Is the Trustee mean?

The Trustee is NOT mean. We have very professional trustees, two of whom also represent debtors in their private practice. Keep in mind that you are not "in trouble" because you filed bankruptcy, and those who work in the bankruptcy system do not think you are a bad person for filing or that you must be an irresponsible person for filing bankruptcy.

All three trustees are attorneys, not judges, and they are appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to administer your estate. The purpose of the 341 is to put you under oath and make sure that the statements in your petition are true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information and belief.

The trustee will put you under oath and ask you the following questions:

Name

Address

Did you hire an attorney to prepare a petition in bankruptcy?

Is this a copy of your petition (showing you a copy)?

Is this your signature?

Did you read the bankruptcy information sheet?

Do you have any questions?

At the time, you provided your attorney with this information, was everything true and correct to the best of your knowledge information and belief?

Have there been any changes to your circumstances since you filed your bankruptcy? (NOTE: If there have been changes, please speak with us prior to your 341 about what those changes are).

If you have real estate: You listed real estate on Schedule A and you valued it at "x". How did you arrive at that value (remember that if you had an appraisal done, that is NOT the same thing as an assessment. An assessment is not a valid way to value property. If you had the appraisal, just remember to say that).

Have you listed all of your personal property on Schedule B?

Have you listed all of your debts?

Have you listed all of your income and all of your expenses?

Have you or are you expecting any lottery winnings, personal injury awards, lawsuit settlements, inheritances or any unexpected money from anyone?

Have you transferred, sold, or given away any property in the last four years?

Have you sold any real estate or owned any real estate in the last five years?

Have you paid back any loans to friends or family in the last year?

Have you filed all your federal, state, and local tax returns (that are currently due as of the date of the hearing)?

In Chapter 13 cases, the Trustee will remind you that you have to make payments and whether or not you were behind in your mortgage at the time you filed your petition.

Those are the general questions. Remember, the purpose of the 341 is not to interrogate you, but to have you confirm under oath that your petition is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief.